First’s revenue falls, but profits continue to grow

FirstGroup reports that its profits rose by 70% to £33.3 million in the six months to September 30, compared with £19.6m in the same period last year.

However, revenue fell by 10.9% from £3,300.7m to £2,941.1m, as First continues with its “multi-year transformation programme”. And net debt fell 3.0% from £1,446.8m to £1,403.2m, the company said in announcing its half-year results on November 5.

UK Rail revenue was £1,155.6m in the six months to September 30 2014, with an operating profit of £40.0m and a margin of 3.5%. In the same period in 2013, these figures were £1,395.2m, £25.8m, and 1.8% respectively.

The fall in revenue is principally attributed to a reduction in the subsidy from the ScotRail franchise, brought about by a similar change to the track access charges paid, and the end of revenue support arrangements at First Great Western and First Capital Connect. Like-for-like revenue grew by 6.5%.

  • For more information, see RAIL 762, published November 26

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